The Sinjar Agreement is 'respectful and fair,' says Iraqi national security adviser

Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji speaks at a panel in Baghdad. (Photo: Archive)
Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji speaks at a panel in Baghdad. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji said on Monday that a stalled agreement between Baghdad and Erbil reached in late 2020 to bring security, services, and normalcy to the disputed district of Sinjar (Shingal), is "respectful and fair" and was "signed to be implemented, not hindered."

The Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced in October that they had reached an agreement to restore security and administrative order in Sinjar, where various competing armed groups remain active.

Read More: KRG and Baghdad reach administrative, security agreement on Sinjar

The federal government says that it has implemented a large part of the Sinjar Agreement, but the KRG has said that it considers everything that has so far taken place a "formality" in light of the non-withdrawal of irregular forces from the city, without which little can progress.

Araji said in a panel discussion held in Baghdad that the Sinjar Agreement is "respectful and fair," and "although it will not satisfy everyone 100 percent," it was "signed to be implemented, not hindered."

Araji, during the discussion alongside several security ministers, added that "there is the will to implement the agreement," which was widely welcomed by the international community.

According to the terms of the Erbil-Baghdad agreement, an official local force of the Yezidis (Ezidis) to be formed to assist in the return of the displaced people to their homes and the reconstruction of SInjar.

"2,500 Yezidis have been recruited by the Ministry of Interior, including 1,500 people living in camps and 1,000 others from inside Sinjar," he said, adding that the force that will be formed "will take over the security file inside Sinjar after completing the procedures related to this regard." 

He said he "acknowledged the existence of obstacles, but there needs to be understandings to overcome these.”

On Monday, the United States urged the PKK and PMF to “fully withdraw” from Sinjar to allow for the long-awaited implementation of the deal.

Read More: US calls on PKK, PMF to ‘fully withdraw’ from Sinjar: Officiall

The remarks came from US Consul General to Erbil Robert Palladino during a press conference in which he touched upon various topics related to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, including his country’s mission, the Sinjar Agreement, and Peshmerga reform.